Christmas is a busy time of year, and it can also be expensive. With holiday sales and doorbusters tempting us to spend more than we intended, I always try to plan ahead for Christmas shopping as much as possible. From setting a budget and making lists to comparing prices online and sticking with cash or using an app, these tips can help you get the most for your money this season:
Set a budget.
Let’s start with the most obvious tip: set a budget for each person you are buying for. This is an important step, because if you don’t have a set budget in mind, it’s easy to go over your head without realizing it. Then again, if your goal isn’t to spend as much money as possible on gifts (which would be kind of depressing), setting a specific amount of money per gift is going to help keep that from happening.
It isn’t always practical or even possible to stick exactly with our budgets when we shop—but if we try hard enough, we might just surprise ourselves by how well we do! Setting aside a strict amount can help us make smarter choices about what we buy and save us from making impulse purchases on things that are not actually necessary.
It can also prevent some stress at check out time!
Make a list.
- Make a list of what you want to buy.
- Write down the prices you are willing to pay for each item.
- Write down the stores you will be shopping at and their hours of operation.
- Write down the dates of when you will be shopping for those items, so that it is easier for others to shop with you if they want to help out!
Shopping early is a great way to save money. The earlier you shop, the more deals, inventory and staff will be available at your disposal. Stores also give their employees more time to deal with returns and problems as well. If you wait until late December before shopping for gifts, your options will be limited by all the other shoppers who have beaten you to it!
Plan for shipping and handling costs.
When you’re shopping online, shipping and handling costs are often overlooked. Shipping costs can add up quickly, so make sure to consider them when making your purchase. Also, if you need to return an item that was purchased online, be sure the retailer has a good return policy. If possible, try getting something in person at a brick-and-mortar store instead of ordering it online if there is such an option available in your area.
Use coupons and discounts.
Coupons and discounts are a great way to save money on your Christmas shopping. There are many ways to find coupons and discounts, including the following:
- Visit the websites of stores that sell gift cards. This can be a good place to look for discounts, as well as coupons for specific items you’re interested in buying. If a store has an online discount code that gives you $50 off any purchase over $100, then you’ll be able to buy two or three more gifts at reduced prices with that one coupon!
- Look through previous years’ newspapers, magazines and online articles. Many stores offer coupons year-round, so if there’s something specific that you need right away (like wrapping paper), then it could be worth checking out what’s available before making any purchases later on down the road when everything gets really busy with all those holiday parties coming up fast.”
Compare prices online.
- Use a price comparison site like Pricegrabber, or Google Shopping. These sites will show you the lowest price for an item on multiple websites.
- Find coupons for your favorite stores and use them to save money on your Christmas shopping. There are hundreds of coupon sites that offer printable coupons, in-store coupons, and mobile device coupons (like Groupon).
- Cashback sites like Ebates can help you save even more money while shopping online by giving cashback rewards when you shop at participating stores like Amazon and Walmart.
- Look for free shipping options: This helps cut down on your overall shipping costs since there are no additional fees or charges associated with having items shipped directly to you without paying anything extra!
Stick with cash or use a shopping app.
If you pay with cash, you can’t spend what you don’t have. If that sounds like a foreign concept to you, try thinking of a time when the credit card was between your fingers. How did it feel? What were some of the things that went through your mind?
Now imagine putting those same groceries in your cart and paying for them with cash instead. How does that feel? Does it inspire confidence? Does it make spending more fun than scary?
I’m convinced that this is one reason people who use cash tend to spend less money on unnecessary purchases (and sometimes even avoid buying at all). Spending money is just not as exciting when it comes from our own accounts instead of being conjured out of thin air by an electronic device!
Review return policies before buying.
Store return policies vary, so it’s important to review them before making a purchase. Some stores have a time limit for returns and may charge a restocking fee.
Some stores will not accept returns on certain items, such as electronics or winter clothing. You should also check the specific policy of any store you shop at frequently, because some stores offer special deals or coupons that don’t apply to items purchased with coupons or discounts (such as when you use a discount card).
Be wary of doorbusters and holiday sales.
You should be careful about the doorbusters and holiday sales that you find. Doorbusters are limited quantity items, and they often only last a few hours before they sell out. Holiday sales are also not necessarily the best time to buy. Instead, you should use Black Friday and Cyber Monday as an opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping at low prices.
Planning ahead for Christmas can save you money, time, and stress in the long run!
Christmas shopping can be a lot of fun, but it can also be stressful and expensive. Planning ahead for Christmas can save you money, time, and stress in the long run!
- Set a budget.
- Make a list of what you want to buy your friends and family members so that it’s not too overwhelming when you’re actually at the store shopping.
- Shop early before Christmas because some stores have incredible deals on their gift wrap supplies as well as clearance items after Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). This will help lower your overall costs for buying gifts for everyone on your list!
- Plan for shipping and handling costs (when applicable) if there’s anything that needs to be ordered online rather than purchased in person at a brick-and-mortar store location nearby where you live or work currently living/working place(s).
Hopefully, this blog post has inspired you to think about your shopping strategies and get ready for the holidays. We know that it can be a lot of work to plan ahead and prepare for Christmas, but the payoff is worth it! The best way to save money on Christmas is by planning ahead and shopping smartly. And if all else fails? Make sure you have some friends or family members with good credit who can help out with last-minute gifts!